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World Health Organization consider recognizing "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition

29 December 2017

In its current draft of the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization defines the disorder as a recurring behavior pattern that significantly impairs a person's personal, social and work life.

Adding "Gaming Disorder" to the list means that it will be recognized by doctors and insurance companies. The symptoms include the inability to control when and how to play video games. The WHO's definition of gaming disorder could inspire an inaccurate diagnosis when, in fact, gaming could just be a coping mechanism for something already known.

In 2015, a 17-year-old Russian boy was rushed to hospital and died after falling into a coma while playing video games nearly continuously for 22 days, only stopping to sleep and eat. It will be the newest update since 1990.

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Standard treatment for technology-associated addictive behaviour, he said, involves quantifying gaming patterns, assessing dysfunctions and motivating patients to initially change lifestyles to reduce gaming durations. For others, however, the lure of video games can become an issue, hindering other aspects of their life and leading to addictive behaviors similar to those with an addiction to gambling.

"People do what they do to escape or avoid pain and we find that that's true with video games as well", Mental health counselor Bobbi Burks says. Public health experts also use the ICD to track the number of deaths and diseases. The facility is full until April, 2018.

Gamers compulsively play to the exclusion of other interests and their persistent gaming appears to endanger their academic or job functioning, the APA had said.

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Rae acknowledges that lots of gamers don't have a problematic relationship to their favorite media, but referenced a patient whose teeth rotted out of his mouth while he couldn't stop himself from going at it.

Second, some research has indicated that "video game addiction" is not a stable construct and clinical impairment might be low.

"You can get immersed in whatever you do if you really love it", he said.

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World Health Organization consider recognizing